I'm at a crossroads, in a three-year relationship with a man I love, and who loves me.
We’ve been discussing plans to get married, with both our families involved.
However, earlier this year, he’d been repeatedly searching and visiting Facebook profiles of other girls online, for weeks. I found out and confronted him.
Even though he didn't message them or initiate any contact, I felt betrayed and vulnerable.
He was apologetic, and said that my busy schedule left him with more spare time than he liked, so he looked them up out of boredom.
I forgave him, but since then something triggers a flashback of this and makes me feel insecure again.
When I originally met him, he was eight years into a family-arranged engagement that was going nowhere.
He ended it when we started seeing each other.
I’ve told him that I trust him, but not fully.
He’s irritated and wants me to either let it go finally, or end the relationship.
I want to move past it, but I can't just snap back to normal.
How do we rebuild trust?
Flashbacks to Distrust
It’s your future you need to think about now.
Every long relationship will have periods of “boredom,” differing schedules between a couple, etc.
Trust means knowing that those periods won’t send your partner to looking at other women on Facebook, or at dating sites, etc.
The “flashbacks” remind you that you’re uncertain, whether his FB trolling was a one-off, or reflects your boyfriend’s restlessness when he’s left on his own.
Decide what you can accept.
If he’s a man who’ll always need a lot of attention, are you willing to make the effort to assure that your work, (future) babies, and personal interests are always balanced against his needs?
If not, take a month’s break and see if he fights for your trust, or gets “bored” again.
I've been in many crappy relationships – cheated on, lied to, etc.
For these reasons, I've been single for four years.
Now I want to be with someone.
I recently met this guy at my school and we hung out last weekend. Immediately, I felt very connected to him.
Usually, I'm super-picky, but I loved everything about him.
He's smart, can carry a conversation, made me laugh, was empathetic… the whole package.
The next day we hung out, and he said he only wanted to be friends for now; he isn't seeking a relationship.
It felt like a dagger to the heart.
Do I keep hanging out with him as a friend in hopes that he'll change his mind?
Or, do I try to forget him and hang out with other guys, even though I know that he's the person with whom I really could see myself?
Confused and Rejected
One hangout isn’t “love,” no matter how instant the connection. But that much connection does make him a candidate to become a good friend.
Also, he’s upfront, and made his position clear from the start.
However, some people do this to “buy insurance” that they can then get away with whatever they want. Later, those types claim they already told you they only wanted to be “friends.”
Get to know him, but get smart about protecting your emotions.
Hang out with other guys too, and get to know them as well, before you decide to get serious with anyone too quickly.
You had the self-discipline to stay single. Now you need to be open to new guys while staying cool.
I’ve been looking into how to become an advice columnist or something similar.
I simply want to help people.
My friends come to me with every little problem.
They told me why: “You break things down to their simplest form so we can clearly see the solution.”
Also, “Not only do you help me work through problems, but your wit and optimism will make me smile in the most devastating times.”
Where do I start on pursuing this dream?
A Helping Career
There are so many fields in which people can be helped, but you certainly have potential because you care, and because you guide people to their own solutions.
Next step is to acquire related knowledge and life experience.
A college education is essential – subjects like psychology, sociology, and good research skills.
They can lead you to become a social worker (much needed), psychologist, counsellor, work in human resources jobs, and yes, advice-giving.
Tip of the day:
When you have lingering distrust, be clear what behaviour you can or cannot accept from a partner.